In Dallas last year, 26 women were killed by their intimate partners, up from 10 the year before. The death of Karen Cox Smith—whose husband has confessed to shooting her in a parking lot in January—has become a rallying point for those hoping to reverse the trend. Mayor Mike Rawlings is a big part of that effort, becoming a high-profile advocate against domestic violence in the last few months, and urging Dallas men to speak up and take responsibility. Saturday, thousands of men joined Rawlings outside Dallas City Hall for a rally to end the city’s culture of domestic violence, joined by major figures in the city’s business, sports and faith communities.
State Rep. Rafael Anchia emceed the event, and Sen. Royce West and Rep. Jason Villalba joined him onstage at one point. Villalba had a message for domestic abusers: “They’re cockroaches, and Texas is gonna come after ’em.”
You can read more about the rally from the Dallas Morning News and WFAA. The Dallas Observer‘s telling includes West’s messy connection, in his private practice, to the day’s big would-be redemption case, the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant. RH Reality Check parses the conflicting, at times counterproductive, messages from the stage Saturday, but says the main “message—putting the blame for domestic violence squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrators, not the victims—came across loud and clear.”